A FIFA World Cup leaves behind a legacy for ages to come. But with India hosting the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020, legacy takes second place to revolution, a revolution for women’s football in India.
“The FIFA U-17 World Cup is a great opportunity for India to put women’s football in the world map and galvanize it. I feel we can win a match in the FIFA World Cup for sure. I worked with the Indian U-16s and they are really intelligent and know how to play the game,” Oinam Bembem Devi, who played at the International level for more than 20 years, stated at the FICCI Goal Summit.
“We lost in the AFC U-16 Qualifying because of the weather conditions as we were playing in sub-zero temperatures. I strongly believe we can achieve a lot,” she expressed.
Sara Pilot, Chairperson, AIFF Women’s Committee stated that it’s a “very exciting moment for women’s football in India.”
“The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup is a revolution for all of us. We in India are trying to push Women’s Football to the next level. It is really an exciting moment to host a Women’s World Cup,” she maintained.
“Great things can happen through women’s football in India for women empowerment. It is an effort to change lives and gender equality in India as a sustainable goal,” she added. “We need more role models in women’s football like Bembem Devi, and the World Cup can act as a setting for the same,” she opined.
Women’s football in India has gone from strength to strength in recent times, with the women’s senior team winning their 5thsuccessive SAFF Championship, staying unbeaten in 23 matches in the tournament over the last five editions.
“Women’s football has been on an upward surge and the Hero Indian Women’s League has played a massive role,” Subrata Dutta, AIFF Senior Vice President stated. “We are also trying hard to develop women’s coaches and referees for holistic development.”